Western Australia’s Premier, Colin Barnett wants to lift the ban that prevents gambling on cruise ships within 12 nautical miles of the WA coast.
The Premier also wants to lift restrictions that currently prevents cruises that only operate between WA ports from opening casinos for passengers.
Barnett said the ban was outdated and should be scrapped.
The changes would require the agreement of Packer’s Crown, which holds the exclusive rights to operate casinos within 200km of Perth.
The premier said the change would still come with restrictions, and rules that prohibit cruise ships from running casinos while in port will remain.
“What we wouldn’t allow was a sham operation, a ship that just goes out to the back of Rottnest, puts an anchor down and has a casino running,” Barnett said.
“It would have to be a genuine cruise, where the casino is just a regular part of the entertainment offering.
“I think if people go on a cruise, they expect there to be a casino, they expect it to be open, and why not?”
Barnett said he did not expect the change to have any commercial impact on Crown. “We need to reach agreement with Crown,” he said. “We think that will be possible.”
Crown’s chief executive of Australian resorts Barry Felstead said the company supported the 2011 changes and said the company looked forward to seeing the detail of the proposed changes.